No, I don’t forgive you

I do not forgive you for leaving me with a violent sociopath to raise me.
I do not forgive you for leaving at all.
I do not forgive you for always putting someone or something else before me.
Yourself.
Your needs.
Your wants.
I do not forgive you for taking me away and then sending me back.
I do not forgive you for making me think it was my decision.
For years, I would say, “You sent me back.” Your reply was always, “You wanted to go.”
I was six. I also wanted a mother who loved me and a father who did not beat me.

I do not forgive you for missing my entire childhood.

I do not forgive you for not being there when I needed you.
I do not forgive you for not doing what you knew I needed and I knew I wanted — to live away from the chaos of life with violence and fear and shame.

I do not forgive you for cutting me out of your life.
I do not forgive you for getting married and not telling me.
Looking back, I think that was your way of letting me know, you had moved on.
From me.

I do not forgive you for leaving me that day in the Monterey Aquarium.
Your friend told me, she saw that you loved him and had committed yourself and your life to him.
I do not forgive you for not making that same commitment to me.

I do not forgive you for showing up once or twice a year expecting my life to conform to your wants and desires.

I do not forgive you for abdicating all of your maternal responsibilities.
I do not forgive you for not wanting me to press charges when John Gill tried to kill me the first time.
The second time.
The third time.

I do not forgive you for taking credit for my successes but not my failures.
Because you have no claim on either.
I am my worst mistakes as well as my greatest achievements.

I do not forgive you for taking his side over mine.
I was there for you when you needed me.
I do not forgive you for making me hide when he came to get you.
I do not forgive you for asking me to be there and then dismissing my support.

You wanted me there when you needed something.
And then gone when you did not.
I do not forgive you for that.

I do not forgive you for cutting me out of your home when he told you to.

I do not forgive you for never taking responsibility for your own actions.
I do not forgive you for seeing your actions only through the prism of your intentions.
I do not forgive you for acting like the victim when you have never been that.
I do not forgive you for saying, “John Gill wasn’t that bad.”
I do not forgive you for telling me when I told you I was raped, that “It happens to everyone.”
I do not forgive you for trying to discourage me almost every step of the way while then reveling when I did well.

The advance job was not a bad idea.
The trip to Nepal was not a bad idea.
My comedy is not bad for me.

I do not forgive you for being surprised that two years of good deeds do not make up for decades of neglect.
The hill of good will you have built is overshadowed by the Everest of bad.

I do not forgive you.
I may never forgive you.

You do not care, or maybe you do but cannot admit it, that you hurt me.
You think that happened so long ago that I should be over it.

I know that I put it all in a box.
I put that box in a closet.
In our house on Maple Avenue.
In Stony Brook, New York.

Thomas Friedman says, “if you do not visit the bad neighborhood, eventually, it visits you.”
I just heard a knock on the door.

It was a long time ago but it is here, with me always.
Until I invite it in and we talk, it always will be.

Your guilt should be real but it is yours.

It is neither my fault nor my problem.
I do not forgive you for thinking it is.

I deal with you now because I have divorced you from yourself.
I deal with you now because I do care.
You need to divorce your actions from your intentions.
You should have good intentions but are judged on the results of your actions.

You fell asleep with a cigarette burning.
You never intended the house to burn down.
But the house is gone.
And we are homeless.

You left me to deal with the mess of a marriage that was not mine.

I may never forgive you.
That is my problem.
Not yours.
I am working on it.

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